Back in June, fourth graders at all eight Chicopee Elementary Schools germinated pumpkin seeds in their classrooms as part of a contest to see which student could grow the heaviest pumpkin. Students then brought their pumpkins home over the summer, where they learned lessons in gardening, plant cycles, and most importantly, perseverance. Our hope at ChicopeeFRESH is that by directly engaging in the growing process, students gain an appreciation for local farming efforts and take a more vested interest in their food choices.
It's safe to say that the students were pretty excited about growing pumpkins. Here are some notable quotes from our contest entry forms:
I feel good about growing a seed because its cool seeing it grow and change each month.
Growing a pumpkin is hard work and dirty. It is awesome growing a pumpkin!!!
My experience was so cool it felt like the whole world was swirling.
This is my first time growing a pumpkin and I'm excited because I get to try something new.
For eighteen fifth graders across seven Chicopee elementary schools, the summer's hard work and excitement paid off this Thursday and Friday when we finally weighed the pumpkins and awarded prizes. The first place winner at each school received a brand new bike, and the runner up scored a $25 Visa gift card. All participants received vouchers for a free ice cream cone at McCray's Farm in South Hadley, MA.
The 2015 Chicopee Pumpkin Growing Contest results are as follows:
Bowe: 1st - Eric Martins (8.4lbs), 2nd - Janelli Beltran (3.72lbs), 3rd - Geno McGahee (2.92lbs)
Litwin: 1st - Avery Wajda (8.53lbs), 2nd - Alex Jovan (5.28lbs), 3rd - Selena Mokan (2.41lbs),
4th - Jan Michael Torres (0.08lbs)
Barry: 1st - Trey Terlik (8.57lbs)
Lambert-Lavoie: 1st - Emily Boyer (6.72lbs), 2nd - Izabella LaFond (5.06lbs), 3rd - Blaize Mack (3.25lbs), 4th - Gracie Martineau (1.90lbs)
Streiber: 1st - Luke Theroux (9.47lbs), 2nd - Zachary Breault (6.55lbs), 3rd - Sofia Gonzalez (0.99lbs)
Fairview: 1st - Cody McCollaum (1.78lbs)
Bowie: 1st - Trinity Tardy (8.91lbs), 2nd - Frank Manegio (0.88lbs)
Congratulations to all of our winners! We are so proud of all of your hard work and perseverance throughout the contest!
ChicopeeFRESH is happy to announce that we will be hosting the Chicopee Pumpkin Growing Contest again in 2016! Stay tuned for more updates!
Check out the slideshow below for pictures of all of our participants and winners! Great job everybody!
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.